Arm A Chip Company Wants To Shorten The Time It Takes To Build Connected Devices

Arm Ltd, the British chip technology company now being acquired by NVidia Corp (NVDA.O) for $54 billion, revealed tools on Monday aimed at slashing the development time of so-called “internet of things” linked devices by 40%.

For decades, most computer systems were developed by first completing chips and hardware, then passing prototypes to software developers to build code for the processors.

Arm unveiled tools on Monday in the hopes of allowing producers of “internet of things” devices, such as connected traffic control lights and smart home appliances, to build their chips and code at the same time, cutting the normal five-year development period in half.

Many chipmakers around the electronics industry use the company’s underlying designs to build actual chips.

Arm will provide such designs to chipmakers while also providing a “virtual” version to cloud computing businesses like Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) Amazon Web Services under the new approach.

These cloud data centers will offer software writers a simulation of the chip’s circuitry, which they may use to build code while chipmakers work on an actual chip.

According to Mohamed Awad, vice president of the internet of things and embedded technologies at Arm, this is considerably more efficient than the present method, which necessitates “hardware farms” of test devices for software engineers to perfect their code.

Amazon, for example, intends to utilize the new method to test the wake phrase “Alexa” on third-party connected products.

“They work with over 150 Alexa-enabled devices. They’d have to set up a hardware farm if they didn’t have this. They can speed up updates by reducing actual hardware requirements “Awad said.

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